It’s not me, but it’s probably me: pop music and passive aggression

Photo 220

(here’s an old picture of me holding my favorite record, which I think is like, ~really fitting~ to this post.)

In a now heavily-gif’ed interview, Dave Grohl described the early impression of the internet as being reminiscent of a bathroom wall, where everyone would write their  best explicit material, usually directed toward a specific someone. Sometimes I’m inclined to agree with Dave, especially since we now have certain world leaders who have taken to this method of communication via the internet, despite over twenty years of world wide web advancement, and supposed common sense in our political leaders, but I digress.

For a plain Jane internet user like myself, who spends most of her time buried in her introverted and non -confrontational world, I understand the idea Dave described. The ability to hide behind a screen which simultaneously allows you to speak freely on any desired platform, while saving you the eventual on-onslaught of emotions as a result of real life confrontation, has negatively impacted my communication skills. There’s admittedly more confrontational action happening in my head than in an episode of “The Hills.”

Now it’s time to admit a deep character flaw of mine, which combines two of my favorite things– music and social media. As soon as a problem arises in my life and I experience my first knee-jerk reactions before logic and my problem solving skills set in, I scramble to post a video of a song to Facebook. Fortunately or unfortunately, finding a specific song to articulate my feelings is really easy for me. I’ve been channeling all of my aggression into three minute pop songs since the days of MySpace.

Here’s where it gets gross: I’m 24 years old, and have been doing this now for roughly an entire decade. I’m a college graduate. I’m really good at holding uncomfortable eye contact when I’m talking to someone, and I generally like to think I’m a people person. So why am I so quick to hope that whomever has “wronged” me will see some YouTube video of an older song, be compelled to watch it, and totally realize I am specifically upset with THEM, and then say something perfect to me, which admits their wrongdoing?

Here’s where it gets disgusting: Not only do I post moody songs after a fight, but I post songs when I’m unsatisfied in a ~romantic~ situation. I actually have done this enough that I’ve had someone TEXT me after I do this. I am bananas. This is embarrassing for someone who likes to believe she’s laid back and understanding in relationships, but GOOD GOD, why do I believe a partner would magically drop everything else going on in their lives and work something out solely because I got upset and posted a Modest Mouse song?

I’ve never tried to dissect why I do this until this very minute. In fact, I have written and rewritten this post over a period of several days because I don’t really want to confront why I do this, even if it’s not some deeply repressed issue. Taking myself out of the equation makes it easier for me to process. I know some friends who have done the ‘ol “post n punch” method on social media and feel equally weird about how easy it is to post pop songs instead of actually telling someone how you feel with your actual words and thoughts.

My most cohesive train of thought regarding why I do this is because I do not put enough stock in my communication skills. I do the most natural thing I can think of, and resort to putting up a shield by picking out songs to fight my battles for me; I’ll find myself carefully curating these choices with lyrics I think pretty accurately represents the situation I’m going through. Simply put, I get an accomplished musician to speak for me. This is obviously stupid because I don’t absolutely believe every single lyric in the song is applicable to my situation; this misconception has lead me to some regrettable soul searching and awkward conversation.

This is a practice I absolutely do not condone, but I’m stuck doing it. Popular music has been composed for ages around problematic behaviors and issues but there seems to be a shortage (to my knowledge) of songs dealing with people who are taking the steps to overcome their problems with feeling inadequate to famous pop composers. Please know I would much rather talk to you and solve any sort of issue quicker and nicer than having you listen to three and a half minutes of what I believe your wrongdoing to be. This is why I do not write music!!!


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